7/12) was our last full day in De Forest just outside of Madison and I had one more thing I wanted to do before leaving the area, take a 32 mile drive and see the town of Mt Horeb. OK OK, I’ll fess up!!! I wanted to visit a Duluth Trading store.
I have been a fan of Duluth Trading clothing for a number of years and have always bought cloths online because we have never been anyplace even remotely close to an actual store. And to be totally honest I’ve been looking forward to actually stepping foot into a store for a long time.
But to go along with going to the Duluth Trading Store we got to take another nice drive through the Wisconsin farmland and see Mt Horeb which turned out to be a very cool town.
First things first we stopped into the Duluth store and I took my time checking everything out and walked out with a couple new shirts, a pair of new cargo shorts, a new wallet and some unmentionables LOL!!
After my shopping spree we took a walking tour around town and Diane tried her luck at finding something new but came up empty handed so we decided we better find a place for an adult beverage and a bite to eat, something we seem to always have success at.
We checked the trusted Trip Advisor App on the phone and it showed The Grumpy Troll as the #1 eating and watering hole spot in town. To top it off it caught our eye as we were walking around so we headed back that way.
It was about 12:30 when we walked in the door and the place was packed, a good sign. We both enjoyed our sandwiches and adult beverages and would recommend the place if you find yourself in the area.
It seems the town is known for and has a thing for Trolls. Mount Horeb was first settled by people of English, German, Irish, Norwegian, Scottish and Swiss descent, yet in the late 1800’s more than 75% of the community was Norwegian.
In approximately 1976, the owners of a Scandinavian gift shop called Open House Imports started placing trolls they had imported from Norway out on their lawn to entice visitors into their shop.
Here is a link to some information about the Troll history, it’s an interesting read we thought. http://trollway.com/troll-history/
Even though the town was mainly made up of Norwegians the Village of Mount Horeb was given its name by an Englishman and not by the Norwegians. George Wright was born in England in 1824. A few months after his marriage in 1848, he was licensed as a lay minister of the Methodist Episcopal Church. In that same year the Wrights immigrated to America. In 1858, they moved to Blue Mounds Township to a farm home, way out on the prairie, about a mile and a half northeast on Military Road.
Mr. Wright became active in Blue Mounds Township as it grew, serving as town treasurer and filling a term in the legislature. He was assistant provost Marshall during the Civil War. This activity led to his appointment as postmaster of the new post office, which was to serve settlers in the eastern part of the township. In 1861, the office was located in his farm home and it was his privilege to give it a name. After searching scriptures, he selected the name “Mount Horeb.” He chose it from the many references to the “mounts” because of the high elevation of his land and the beauty of the surrounding area.
In 1867, when the Wrights moved to Norwalk, IA, the post office was brought to the little settlement called the “Corners” which became “Horeb’s Corners” and later “Mount Horeb” was recorded as the official name.
I sort of wish we would have taken the time while there to track down all of the trolls just for the heck of it but we didn’t, if we are in the area again we will do just that.
And there is your history lesson for the day LOL!!
Once we finished up in town we took our leisurely drive through the back roads home. Before we got there however we made a stop at the Pink Elephant.
And then a stop at the Ehlenbach’s Cheese Chalet, our first stop at a cheese shop since entering Wisconsin and we were very disappointed. Sure they had lots of different types of cheese in flavors I couldn’t even imagine ever seeing in a cheese but I guess we imagined the experience to be more like we have had at wineries and heck, even at the Mustard Museum with samples everywhere showing off their product but not a sample was to be found.
Oh sure, I guess we could have asked the two young girls working the counter if they offered samples but after letting them know it was our first time in Wisconsin and the first visit to a cheese establishment period only to receive back “I don’t give a shit” looks we figured it wouldn’t be happy go lucky experience we had hoped for and just let it be. Maybe the next shop will be more inviting.
We did however buy some string cheese and a meat stick before leaving and heading home where we just chilled the remainder of the evening.
Oh we should give Norske Nook an honorable mention, a Norwegian restaurant we ate at while in the area that was pretty good and had amazing pies.
That pretty much sums up or stay in DeForest. Even though we really enjoyed what we did do in the area I doubt we will need to come back, it’s just too darn big and has too much traffic with Madison having a population of just over 252,000 people. I guess if we could get to where we wanted to be by just driving in the outlying farmlands it would be ok LOL!!
With that said we braced ourselves for our next travel day into the largest city in Wisconsin, WHAT ARE WE THINKING!!! WHO PLANNED THIS PORTION OF OUR JOURNEY!!